Five Firsts: Jack Grace of the Jack Grace Band
NAME: Jack Grace
BAND AFFILIATION: Jack Grace Band (owner-operator)
INSTRUMENT: Geetar and Howlin’
1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … I bought two in the first purchase – The Beatles’ Second Album and Disney’s Robin Hood album. Turns out it was Roger Miller doing most of the singing. I checked back, and it still sounds great.
2. THE FIRST CONCERT THAT I EVER SAW WAS … Judas Priest, only because I was too chicken to see the Who and the Clash at Shea. I didn’t even like Judas Priest very much, but I didn’t want to miss another chance… So I guess my first intentional concert was Rush, I think. Or maybe Robert Plant.
3. THE FIRST MUSICAL INSTRUMENT I EVER OWNED OR PLAYED WAS … a Giannini nylon string – still have it, and I use it as a beach guitar when in Mexico. I hacked away on it when I was 10 years old, but I didn’t start playing guitar until I was 18. My teacher at 10 tried to teach me to plunk out “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” so I dropped it. If he had just shown me a Beatles song, I am pretty sure I would have been playing guitar eight years earlier.
4. THE FIRST SONG THAT I EVER PERFORMED IN PUBLIC WAS … “Down By the River” (Neil Young) and my own song “The Rain a Fallin'” at an open mic at the Speakeasy in NYC, 1987. Ya got two songs, and I was followed by Dave Van Ronk! He sang a song about Godzilla, as I recall.
5. THE FIRST BAND I WAS EVER IN WAS … Steak – 1992 to ’98. My first show live in a band (and my first live guitar solo) was in front of 100 or so folks. The next show was at the Fox Theater in Boulder, CO in front of 300 folks. We kinda took off faster than we had planned, and we were not ready. These days that wouldn’t be such a bad problem to have. We still play once in a while.
Jack Grace rolls into Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs at 8pm on Friday night (March 15) to open the show for the Chandler Travis Three-O Birthday Party Bash & Extravaganza. (Yes, it’s Travis’ birthday, as well as Caffe Lena soundman and photographer Joe Deuel’s birthday, too.) Tickets are $20 in advance; $22 at the door.